The thinking behind CISN began in 2007, when Ian Craig was asked to put together and deliver a post-graduate module called ‘The Competitive Athlete’ as part of the Centre for Nutrition Education and Lifestyle Management’s (CNELM) Masters degree. At the time, he could not find a suitable textbook for the course, so he had to borrow principles from functional medicine and conventional sports nutrition teachings and amalgamate them within the five-day course. This course was later expanded to a nine-day offering in 2012 and a decade later, it still runs as ‘Personalised Sports Nutrition’.

In 2010, Ian took up the editor role of the new professional magazine Functional Sports Nutrition, published by Target Publishing. Since its commencement, the magazine has slowly grown in its following and it has seen a significant evolution in food-focussed product offerings. Additionally, this publication has amassed a large number of quality functional sports nutrition articles over the years, which forms some of the foundation knowledge taught in the CISN course.

As a result of the magazine’s success, 2013 saw the launch of Sports Nutrition Live, an annual conference in London, with Ian as conference leader. Now in its fifth year, Sports Nutrition Live is being run under the banner IHCAN Conferences (previously CAM Conferences), in conjunction with the British Association for Applied Nutrition & Nutritional Therapy (BANT). See Events for more information.

In addition, the Functional Sports Nutrition Academy (FSNA) was started in 2014, with two high quality three-day courses being run that year. Lack of marketing resources at the time saw its demise a year later.

As a result of these educational offerings, there has been a representation of integrative/functional sports nutrition for the past decade, albeit a small one. However, there has not been one comprehensive educational offering in the subject, and so it is the vision of the CISN to educate practitioners in this way and to gradually widen its appeal into a mainstream practice.